Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ:LYFT) drivers have been among the most affected by the pandemic because the stay at home measures has impacted demand for-hire car business.
Ridesharing drivers most affected by the pandemic
The pandemic has done a lot of damage, which shows there is a need to change and fix relationships between ridesharing companies and their drivers. Although drivers were considered essential, there were no passengers to carry as most people stayed at home. The stay at home and shutdown of nonessential services was the beginning of a torrid time for ridesharing drivers because they lost their paycheck and the ability to pay for insurance and the cars. The lack of work spells economic turmoil.
According to an Independent Driver Guild survey carried in April in New York City, with the pandemic affecting the drivers’ economic livelihood, they were left unprotected with a lack of access to healthcare. Around 25% of the 240 drivers surveyed indicated they had a household member showing COVID-19 signs, while 11% reported that they had kin that tested positive. Around 48% of the drivers stated that they were unable to access medical care. With no work, drivers opted to stay at home, and those that went to work saw a drop in earnings to $548 per week from the average $1,100 per week.
Uber could be forced to classify drivers as workers in the UK
Ridesharing companies have faced criticism regarding their drivers’ classification, and Uber is facing a licensing and driver classification Lawsuit in London. The London court cases have massive implications for the company and could set precedence in the gig economy. The two drivers that have been at the center of the 5-year long case for basic rights and representation stated that Uber’s ride-hailing system is dangerous to drivers, and an overhaul is expected.
According to the former drivers, the classification of Uber drivers as workers will help eliminate the sweatshop labor culture. Uber is expected to make massive changes to its operations approach in the UK.